Review | World’s End Club – 12 Friends at the End of The World (startmenu Preview)

Back in 2017, a group of Spike Chunsoft employees left to form their own company, Too Kyo Games. Among its founding members were Kazutaka Kodaka and Kotaro Uchikoshi, the respective creators of the Danganronpa and Zero Escape series. Given the similarities between both their series, it’s honestly surprising that it took until 2020 for the two to actually work on a project together. Released last year as an early access Apple Arcade title, World’s End Club is the two’s first proper collaboration, with Uchikoshi as director and writer and Kodaka as creative director.

The full game was recently released on the Nintendo Switch and expectations were certainly high for it. Danganronpa and Zero Escape are well-known and beloved by their fans for their complex mysteries, larger than life characters, and off-the-wall humour, so many assumed that World’s End Club would follow in their footsteps. And while in some ways it does, it is a very different beast compared to anything in either series.

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Review | Gnosia (startmenu Preview)

Chances are that if you’re at all already familiar with Gnosia, then you probably know it as that game that’s basically Among Us except with an anime aesthetic. And while that’s not an entirely inaccurate description, it doesn’t do the game justice in the slightest.

Set aboard a drifting spaceship, you and your fellow crew members learn that somebody onboard has been infected by the titular Gnosia. What the Gnosia actually are is a complete mystery, but their goal is clear: the complete eradication of all human life. The goal of the crew is to correctly identify the infected and put them into cold sleep, while the Gnosia must avoid detection and pick the crew members off one by one until they can take over the ship.

Despite the Among Us comparisons, Gnosia is more like the classic party game Werewolf (something it actively acknowledged in its launch trailer), but the key difference is that Gnosia has no multiplayer aspects whatsoever. It’s entirely single-player, which you wouldn’t think would work for a social deduction game where the fun primarily comes from the arguments, distrust, and deception between players. So what has the team at Petit Depotto done to create a compelling experience?

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RWBY Volume 7 – Lucky Number or An Unfortunate Result?

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for RWBY

Too Long for Twitter may no longer be receiving regular updates, but that doesn’t mean I’m stopping these RWBY reviews. And Volume 7 was certainly an interesting one to re-watch.

I remember, on the whole, my Entertainment Dome co-host and I thoroughly enjoyed it initially, though we weren’t lacking in complaints. But with this volume especially, many aspects were hard to critique since we had no clue where the plot was going to end up. Any problems we may have had in one episode could be immediately addressed in a later one.

So, on a second viewing, is Volume 7 as solid as I remember it being? Is it maybe even better or does it being complete reveal issues I wasn’t aware of before?

Continue reading

RWBY Volume 6 – Rises Like the Moon or Sinks Like a Rock?

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for RWBY

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RWBY Volume 5 left me feeling quite anxious after it finished. I’ve already made my feelings on it perfectly clear, both in my review and in the episode recaps on The Entertainment Dome, but it meant that I went into Volume 6 with trepidation when it began. Would the quality of the show continue to dip or would it pick itself back up? Some of you no doubt already know the answer, but these reviews are tradition at this point so let’s just get on with it before Volume 7 comes out. Continue reading

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order – Marvellous Masterpiece or Boring Button-Masher?

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One game that I used to play the crap out of during my childhood was Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2. A loose adaptation of the Civil War comic story-line, it was a top-down action-RPG/beat ’em up featuring a tonne of famous and not so famous heroes and villains from across the Marvel universe, enjoyable and addictive gameplay, cool character interactions, and some great replayability that had me coming back again and again, just so I could keep making all manner of different teams to play through the game as.

That game came out ten years ago and it very much seemed like a series that wasn’t going to get revived any time soon, especially with Disney now holding Marvel’s reigns. So I was pleasantly surprised to see a new, third title get announced out of nowhere. And if that wasn’t enough, Activision and Vicarious Visions were out and Nintendo and Team Ninja were in.

Suddenly, everybody was getting excited to see how this game would turn out. Aside from those big names, the roster looked great (the presence of the X-Men alone helped tremendously) and the presentation was delightfully stylish, but does the game have the substance to match it, or should this series have been left back in the late 2000s? Continue reading

Steins;Gate 0 – No, Seriously, Don’t Invent Time Travel

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Steins;Gate

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When I finished playing Steins;Gate back in 2015, I found myself in that state of mind where, even though everything was neatly wrapped up, I was hungry for more from its world and characters. Even if it was an entire story just about the characters living their lives, I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye yet. Fortunately, there was an anime adaptation to throw myself into and a movie that acted as an epilogue of sorts (both of which I loved). But then I found out that a full-on sequel was coming to Japan very soon and would be out in the West the following year… and I had no interest in playing it.

“But you just said you wanted more Steins;Gate!” you cry. True, but Steins;Gate 0 isn’t a sequel in the traditional sense, instead continuing the story in an alternate “bad” timeline. Considering how much I loved the first game’s ending, I was worried that the sequel could potentially undo how perfect it was. Plus, I didn’t want to see more bad things happen to the characters after they got their happy endings, so I skipped it.

Cut to 2018 and the anime adaptation began to air on Crunchyroll. I had an account at the time and when the first episode went up, I thought “Eh, why not? I’ll give it a shot.” And sure enough, I got completely sucked in. I’m not sure what it was but it did enough to make me see it through to the end, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. But even I could tell that certain elements had been changed or removed in order to fit the narrative in an anime format (I even saw some comments complaining about how certain scenes were cut). Curious, I decided to play the game myself and go through the full unaltered experience of Steins;Gate 0 myself. Continue reading

Team Sonic Racing – Does Teamwork Make the Dream Work?

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Back when Team Sonic Racing was first teased with an incredibly vague and short trailer, I wasn’t exactly impressed or excited. At the time, Sonic Forces had left me rather bitter about how Sega was handling the series, and I didn’t think they had earned enough goodwill to only hint at a new title and expect me to be invested. However, as time passed and more info was revealed, I was eventually coaxed back like a badger out of its sett. The fact that Sega had brought Sumo Digital on board to develop it was the primary reason since I really enjoyed their last two Sega-themed racing games, especially Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed.

But there was still some scepticism, and I wasn’t the only one. The focus was entirely on Sonic and friends this time and, rather than do what every other mascot kart racer did and just copy and paste Mario Kart, Sumo Digital were doing something very different and making a racing game where players would race in teams and have to work together in order to win. It was certainly a unique premise, but after being consistently disappointed by so many Sonic games over the last few years, there was this constant fear that I was setting myself up to be let down again.

So is Team Sonic Racing a worthy Mario Kart alternative? Is it even as good as Sumo Digital’s previous work? Or is it just a gimmicky failure? Continue reading

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu – An Amazing Adaptation or Shockingly Bad?

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When children hear the words “live-action Pokémon movie,” they get excited. When adults hear those words, however, they inwardly cringe. Live-action adaptations of videogames and animated properties both share notorious reputations for being pretty much always bad, so you can’t blame most of us, upon hearing that Hollywood were going to give Nintendo’s most prolific RPG series the same treatment, to place our faces in our hands and groan.

But then that very first trailer dropped and, suddenly, people started to say “Actually, this looks pretty good.” Early impressions indicated that Pokémon: Detective Pikachu would avoid every pitfall that other movies of its ilk had fallen into. Fans’ expectations went from nil to a hundred, but were we right to trust those trailers? Is it even a good adaptation of the game it’s based on? Is it something only the purest of Pokémon fans can enjoy? Continue reading

Nier: Automata – My First Yoko Taro Game

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“Everything that lives is designed to end. We are perpetually trapped in a never-ending spiral of life and death. Is this a curse? Or some kind of punishment? I often think about the god who blessed us with this cryptic puzzle…and wonder if we’ll ever get the chance to kill him.”

These are the first lines of dialogue you hear in Nier: Automata, and if this doesn’t immediately tell you what kind of game you’re about to experience, then you are in for one hell of a trip; one that could only have come from a director like Yoko Taro. Anyone familiar with his work kind of had an idea for what to expect but for a newcomer like myself, no amount of research into his previous games could prepare me for what this one had in store. I thought I knew after listening to those opening lines, but that was, appropriately and obviously, only the beginning. First, though, let’s get some backstory out of the way. Continue reading

The Greatest Showman – Fitting Title or Mediocre Musical?

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I very rarely want to watch the same movies that my mum does (I still haven’t forgiven her for making me watch The Tourist, which was GARBAGE in case you were wondering), but I made an exception when she wanted to show me her new favourite movie, The Greatest Showman. Part of it was out of politeness but there was another reason, and it wasn’t necessarily because she absolutely loved the movie. It was the fact that she absolutely loved it but so many others hated it. Not disliked, hated. What kind of movie could generate two wildly different opinions of it? I had to see it for myself to find out.

So is The Greatest Showman a cinematic marvel that deserved all of the Oscars? Is it a raging dumpster fire and offensive to the very senses? Or is it kind of mediocre and everyone’s just overreacting and making a big deal out of nothing? Continue reading